100+ Advanced Spanish Vocabulary Words to Propel You to Fluency
So what is advanced vocabulary?
These are words you don’t use everyday. They’re often very specific, obscure or technical. You have to put forth a bit more effort to learn them.
But it’s worth it!
After learning these guys, you’ll grow your vocabulary enormously and expand the scope of your Spanish knowledge. You’ll improve your comprehension and be able to describe things in greater detail.
- Herramientas (Tools)
- Animales (Animals)
- Partes del Cuerpo (Body Parts)
- Al Aire Libre (Outdoors)
- Oficina (Office)
- Jardín (Garden)
- Otras Palabras (Other Words)
Now, I like to think that I know my way around a toolbox, but when my husband told me I had to assemble the cute, new coffee table…well, all of a sudden a drill was a complicated device. I couldn’t even imagine going into a hardware store and navigating all those options in Spanish!
Here are some tools (get it?) that’ll help you next time you want to start a home improvement project.
Bricolaje (Do it yourself, DIY)
Llave inglesa (Wrench)
Papel de lija (Sandpaper)
Ferretería (Hardware Store)
I may not be able to build a table, but at least my husband can send me to the store to get the stuff we’ll need to get the job done!
My daughter and I go to the zoo ever
y now and then. Okay, I’ll be honest—she’s two years old so we go at least three times a week. Our local zoo is beyond tiny, by which I mean there are about 10 exhibits and half of them are birds.
My point is, I have to do something to entertain myself as she runs around. I started looking at the animals differently thinking of how I would describe them.
I knew the words for “pig” and “tiger,” but did I know the words for snout and paw? Now I do!
It’s amazing how many words you can use to describe an animal. Try some out. Go and grab your dog (or a friend’s dog) and try to name everything from their snout to their paws. It’s quite the challenge.
Partes del Cuerpo (Body Parts)
Some of the first things you learn to name in Spanish are the basic body parts: eyes, ears, mouth, nose, etc. But can you really describe all of your body as easily in Spanish as you can in English?
Fosas Nasales (Nostrils)
These are just a few words. Start at your head and work your way down to learn every body part in Spanish. When all else fails, follow the practice of the mime and point.
Al Aire Libre (Outdoors)
I really love spending time outdoors. Camping and boating are a lot of fun—well, anything outside is a lot of fun. But when I go camping I’m usually with my English-speaking family and don’t have to speak Spanish, so I found that this was an area in which my vocabulary was seriously suffering. Let’s look beyond “tree” and “flower” and really dig into some words that’ll help you on your next camp out.
Cantimplora (Water bottle)
Tienda de Campaña (Tent)
Botiquín (First-aid Kit)
Asar (To grill)
Gafas de sol (Sunglasses)
Now you’re all set for fun in the sun! Don’t forget to pack the sunblock and the mosquito repellent.
Oh, the office. There are so many different objects that are in the common office. Surprisingly, you may not have already covered these in your Spanish practice. These little odds and ends just always seem to slip through the cracks. Let’s learn the words for some of these objects.
Tarjeta de negocios (Business card)
Archivador (Filing cabinet)
Estuche (Pencil case)
Bandita Elástica (Rubberband)
Cinta Adhesiva (Tape)
Next time you need a break from answering phones or filing papers, take some time to learn the words of other office supplies.
Gardens are always fun and relaxing. It’s amazing to see something grow from a little seed into an amazingly delicious tomato or watermelon. A little bit of dirt under your fingernails and a little bit of sunshine on your face is good for the soul. Here are some words that’ll help you connect with nature out in the garden.
Tijeras de podar (Clippers)
Pala de punta (Spade)
Regadera (Watering can)
Next time you are at the nursery looking for gardening tools, this list will help you. Something I didn’t include, but that you should check out, are words of plants and flowers. Plus now you have new words to add to your ever expanding Spanish vocabulary!
Otras Palabras (Other Words)
As I was putting together this post, I came across a few other words that don’t really fit well into a single category. Here are a few other words that could be handy to have lying around in your brain. Several of these are verbs, which is nothing but good. Advanced verbs will help you be able to communicate more directly and specifically with others.
De puntillas (On tippy toes)
Sisear (To hiss)
Silbar (To whistle)
Fanfarronear (To brag)
Reojo (Peripheral vision)
Mechón de cabello (Lock of hair)
Otrora (In olden days)
En aras de (For the sake of)
See, isn’t vocabulary so much fun?
Before you know it, all of your existing Spanish boxes will be totally full and spilling over—but never stop looking for new words to learn. There’s always more vocabulary to add to your already expanding Spanish knowledge. Don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed, just take it one word at a time.
Now that you’ve seen the advanced Spanish vocabulary that I’ve found most useful, go out and create your own lists!
Go to a store and walk around. I recommend somewhere huge like Wal-Mart. As you walk up and down the aisles, try to name absolutely everything you see in Spanish. If you don’t know the word, write it down on a pad.
When you get home, look it up and write it down next to the English word, or plug it into your vocabulary lists on the FluentU language learning program (that way you can see it used in many other contexts within our video library, or practice it long-term via the multimedia flashcards).
Your vocabulary skills will start to explode!